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Hardball With Chris Matthews

News/Business. (2013) (CC)

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Clinton 12, America 8, Us 8, Obama 6, Texas 4, Benghazi 4, Officemax 3, Barack Obama 3, Afghanistan 3, Humira 3, Allstate 3, Dianne Feinstein 3, Feinstein 3, Ron Johnson 3, Paul Broun 3, Sandy 3, John Boehner 3, Garth 3, Tammy Duckworth 3, Illinois 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2013)  (CC)  

    January 24, 2013
    4:00 - 5:00pm PST  

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was it live? was it lip synced? who cares. it's not what to worry about during the inauguration. we saw again today, the president is already moving ahead. in his fight to protect main street against wall street. he's already moving on gun safety. immigrant rights, women's rights. that's the big story this week. these issues are too important for any of us to get distracted now. if beyonce did pre-record a song because she couldn't record with the marine band and didn't want to disparage the national anthem, she should be applauded for that. that's the patriotic thing to do. but the big thing out of inauguration was a president sitting across from fairness saying that he wanted to make sure that a poor little girl would have the same opportunities as anybody else in
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america. let's focus on the change that we need the change that we voted for, the change that we fought for. do not allow them to have us majoring in minors and minoring in majors. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. >> the jackals attack hillary. let's play "hardball." >> good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. is this the day of the jackals? is this the day that the right decided to go all out attacking hillary clinton?
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who said this person is fair game? that she's the new valerie wilson, the new target of all their angry venom and fulminating. where do they decide this stuff? hillary clinton is the most popular woman in the world right now. democrats love her, a lot of republicans like her. she's not running for anything, certainly not now. she's retiring from a tough job. people agree she's done a pretty darn good job, and yet she's getting hauled over the firing squad. don't we want any more -- don't people anymore wait a bit before they start to say ready, aim fire? don't we give a person, even an important person, a little time-out before we start the attack, loose the dogs, start ripping at the skin? i know politics. i don't know this politics. obama's the president. he will be for four years. he's the guy who will make the calls politically until 2016. is this about just attacking democrats? is this about trying to convince her, mrs. clinton, not to run? if so, it might just be the easiest way to guarantee she runs. don't you think? neera tanden is a former policy director to hillary clinton, and ron reagan is an msnbc political
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analyst. both of you are good people to have on right now. i want to get a comment from neera, and i want a gut reaction. this disgusting attack, the back benchers, each one of these nuts, they are nutty in their behavior, hannity, "the new york post" with the disgusting front page today, rush limbaugh with his usual feminine nazi nonsense coming out. do you think this will make secretary clinton more likely to run for president or less likely that all the jackals are attacking her. >> i don't think rush limbaugh or any of these people will have a dime's bit of difference on hillary clinton. she has been dealing with their ilk for 20 years. she's going to make -- >> you don't think the attack -- i want a yes or no, you really don't believe she will have a fighting spirit coming out of this assault on her? >> oh, she has a fighting spirit, but whether rush limbaugh has an affect on what she decides to do with her life, i'm just telling you i don't
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think so. i think, you know, she showed yesterday she has a fighting spirit. i think she showed yesterday in what people were really enthusiastic about in her performance, that she gave as good as she can get. they thought they were going to yell her down, and they didn't. and so my view of that is, look, she is a superstar. she's done a fantastic job, but she doesn't live her life by the decisions other people make. she lives her life by the decisions she wants to make for her and her future. >> ron, let me ask you this thing. let's switch the question around to another way of looking at it. do you think these people were doing a pre-emptive attack thinking she may well decide to run. if they trash her up front, she might decide not to. what's the politics here? i don't get it. >> well, i imagine that the republicans, rand paul, ron johnson on that committee were thinking to themselves, thinking ahead to 2016 and thinking we can get some footage here that can be used in attack ads against hillary clinton in 2016.
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now, instead what happened was that hillary clinton ate their lunch and walked out of that hearing room with a highlight reel of her own she can use in those ads. i agree that, you know, rand paul and rush limbaugh and people like that are not going to make up hillary clinton's mind for her, but she did look like somebody who was up for the fight. >> let's show some of that to remind people how good it was. here is secretary of state hillary clinton in a tour deforce at the house and senate benghazi hearings, which is probably what have the right so exorcised. she showed acuity, humanity, and charm. her republican questioners, not so much. senator ron johnson from wisconsin prompted secretary clinton's heated defense. here is where the secretary gives the senator no quarter. >> when you're in these positions, the last thing you want do is interfere -- >> i realize that's a good excuse. >> well, no, it's the fact.
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number two, i would recommend highly you read both what the arb said about it and the classified arb because even today there are questions being raised. now, we have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants, they attacked us, they killed our people, but what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing -- >> no, no, no -- again, we were misled that there was supposedly protests and something sprang out of that. that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the american people could have known that within days, and they didn't know that. >> with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. >> well said. on the house side secretary clinton defused a lot of criticism from south carolina senator jeff duncan who accused her of allowing the benghazi consulate to become a death trap.
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here is the exchange. let's listen. >> i heard the answer about firing or removing personnel. i get that. but this was gross negligence. at what point in time can our administration and can our government fire someone whose gross negligence left four americans dead in benghazi? what does the word responsibility mean to you, madam secretary? >> i think i have made this very clear, congressman. >> finally senator rand paul who posited or posted that if he were president, he'd have fired her, as if he were ever. after his showboating criticism of clinton, he then asked an out of left field question. let's listen. >> there is a certain amount of culpability to the worst tragedy since 9/11, and i'm glad you're accepting this. now, my question is, is the u.s. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to turkey
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out of libya? >> to turkey? >> anyway, i don't know what that exchange was about except she knows what she's talking about, and i don't think the member does. let me go back to ron on this. it seems to me it was a sparring match, a warm-up. i have to tell you, they weren't the heavyweights. the heavyweights on the committee, like corker, who does have some nuance, and the democratic members showed some respect for the office. the back benchers acted like the characters in "gulliver's travels," the little people putting ropes over the people much bigger than them, the lilliputians. and these other people, we'll never hear from them again ever. >> give rand paul some credit. he provided the nation with one of those media moments that we lack so often now. you know, where everybody has the same reaction, the same
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emotional experience at the same time. when rand paul said that if he were president, he would have fired hillary clinton, i think everybody in the country in unison, you could hear them, say president rand paul? oh, dream on. >> i think that was snoopy thinking he was the red baron. here is some of what the conservative media jackals said following secretary clinton's powerful testimony yesterday. it was the vast right conspiracy gang actually coming to life here. first, sean hannity. i don't understand this guy. i don't know whether he believes this nonsense, but he keeps doing it. let's listen. >> as well as i know the clintons and now the obamas, let me just tell you what's going on behind the scenes here. what you saw in this answer, this anger, this outrage, i can tell you, it was not spontaneous. i'm telling you, it was staged. probably at the direction of the rajin cajun, james carville, himself or somebody else. that was all preplanned.
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>> do you love the mix-up of words probably. it was all preplanned probably. i can tell you for sure. the oracle of thebes here. rush limbaugh said clinton's emotions were less than genuine. let's listen. >> and i guess everybody's favorite part, she lost her cool at one point. by the way, she opened up crying, which is part of the script. >> the underwater walrus. anyway, senator ron johnson, who sparred with clinton, said she planned -- well, she planned her show. she said he planned it. quote, i think she just decided before she was going to describe emotionally the four dead americans, the heroes, and use that as her trump card to get out of the questions. it was a good way of getting out of really having to respond to
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me. and then there was this grotesquery, the cover of "the new york post." supposedly a newspaper. i go back to neera tanden. my belief is she wants to think about this presidency thing. what do you think should be the right media response to her for the next six months or so? >> you know, i think people should just, you know, take a deep breath and look at what she does, and she's a person who is always committed to public service. i think she'll have some element of service, whether it's -- i don't think it will be public service immediately, but it will be service of some kind, and i'd say what i thought was really interesting about the hearing yesterday and the treatment by the right wing is, you know, i think hillary really demonstrated to people how ridiculous these hearings are.
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republican members, conservative members have spent much more time grilling american leaders than they have been focused on the people who actually killed americans. you know, they spent much more time trying to treat this as a political issue of going after democrats, obama, hillary, susan rice, than actually finding out who is responsible and what we should do about it. and so, you know, i think her outburst is not an outburst. it's a reflection of what we all think about this. if you were going to be real about these issues, you would be asking what can we do to beef up the security. something gop members have already cut, you know, and they have decisions to cut it now in these days as we're speaking. it's rank hypocrisy. i think it's a fresh breath of air that people -- >> i agree with you about the hypocrisy because i remember 9/11 very clearly, and i remember how this country rallied around a president who had limited ability, but we all rallied around him. the first reaction was he says we're going to get the people who knocked down this building, and everybody cheered him. they weren't saying how did you screw it up, buddy? it was about unity.
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the left and center are much better at national unity than the right. the right sees a national tragedy like this far off in benghazi, not in new york city, at a very exposed position which could have happened no matter how many troops we had there. we don't blame it on everybody even though it was new york, right into the heartland. i think there's a difference in how people react. i think the left was much more nationalistic. how is that for a statement? thank you, neera and ron reagan. it's funny it's so frickin true. john boehner says the president wants to annihilate the gop. maybe if republicans weren't in a perpetual war with african-americans, latinos, women, and young people politically at least they wouldn't to worry about being annihilated. also the pentagon officially lifted the ban on women in combat today. in reality women have already been in combat for some time, certainly exposed to enemy fire as tammy duckworth can attest to.
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everyone agrees now is the best time in two decades to push for gun safety laws. today senator dianne feinstein introduced an assault weapons ban. i think we're going to do background checks. and paul broun, who last year called evolution lies straight from the pit of hell, is back at it. he says president obama is upholding, wait for this, the soviet constitution. boy, he's up to date. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] coughequence™ #8. waking the baby. [ coughs ] [ baby crying ] ♪ [ male announcer ] robitussin® liquid formula soothes your throat on contact and the active ingredient relieves your cough. robitussin®. don't suffer the coughequences™.
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we're expecting here over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the republican party, and let me just tell you, i do believe that is their goal, to just shove us into the dust bin of history. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was john boehner, of course, speaking to the ripon society, a group of modern republicans. he ascribes an awfully sinister motive to president obama these days considering the fact that the republican party hasn't needed much help in its recent collapse. boehner is not alone. house majority whip kevin mccarthy sees the same plot by the democrats. >> this person's main goal is to continue to try to break the
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republican party. he's out of touch with where america is at with what he's trying to do. >> come on, kevin. all of a sudden the democrats are sitting back in the back room conniving how to take the republicans apart. considering the republicans made it their mission to stop obama at all costs, it's fairly rich they accuse obama of using the same tactics against them. feehery, you're already laughing because the idea that the republicans think there's a big cabal of democrats that sit around and meet and they're saying why don't we get the republicans to say stupid things about black america, against latinos, come out against immigration reform and screw up any chance of being a majority party again, and it's all the democrats. how does anybody really believe that? >> obviously the president would like to see the republicans lose the majority in the house and lose the senate --
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>> that's an annihilation campaign? >> of course he does. he wants to get through his agenda, and his agenda is far different than john boehner's agenda. we all know what it is. it's a lot more spending, more government -- >> that's a pretty squeamish attack. if somebody opposes you politically, they're out to annihilate you. >> he wants to break the back of the republicans, but he's not going to be able to. the house majority will stay the majority for the next decade. we're probably going to take the senate back. the president has to understand he's got to deal with republicans. that speech on monday said nothing in any way that he wanted to work with republicans. >> okay, geronimo. you got everybody roused up. my question is, bob shrum, is i do see a breaking of the republican party over policy questions. i do see a breakup over the question of the fiscal cliff. the northeastern members did not want to go over the cliff with the rest of the republican party. they wanted to help the victims of hurricane sandy, of tropical storm sandy. they wanted to defend their own territory in terms of politics, but i didn't see anything particularly conspiratorial in any of that. >> no, they're actually trying to save themselves.
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they've got a bunch of people from very safe districts, and john is right, it would be very hard for democrats to take back the house until after 2020 because all those districts are gerrymandered, and, you know, if you can't take back the house, you certainly can't annihilate the republicans. it was a kind of loopy expression, and i think if john was being honest, he'd say he wouldn't have advised the speaker to say it. >> is victimhood now a republican meme? now republicans are all victims too? i know the democrats are sometimes truly victims, but are you selling the fact, hey, we're getting beat up by these bullies. is this the new thing, complaining, crying? do you think it works politically? >> i think the president's speech on monday did a wonderful thing for republicans. it got them united and fired up. he said nothing that anybody in any red states would say he's trying to reach out to me. it was a liberal speech for liberal interest groups, and it did nothing for republicans except unite them. i thought it was a good thing. >> like when he said some people are justifiably skeptical about what big government can achieve. is that one of your big battle cries? >> listen, everybody understands that that was a very liberal
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speech, and your guys were very excited about it. >> you know, look -- >> i was, but i was also believing it. go ahead, bob. >> john is just wrong about this, and so is kevin mccarthy. the mainstream has moved, and the president represents it. look at the polling. the president stood up for tax fairness, and people voted for him. he's standing up to protect social security and medicare. people want to do that. there will be some changes but not fundamental ones. on climate change 80% of the people in the ap poll agree with the president it's a real problem and we have to deal with it. the majority of the country is with him on gay marriage, with him on issues like inaugural reform. barack obama didn't just speak to america, he was speaking for america, no matter how much that pains republicans to hear. they're out of step and out of the mainstream. >> is it a deliberate effort -- here is conservative rich lowry from "the national review."
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he writes in politico that the real president obama is now revealing himself. by the way, i'm with that thought. i think it was the real obama, not covered up politics, the real thing on monday. he wrote, obama settled once and for all the debate over his place on the political spectrum and his political designs. he's an unabashed liberal determined to shift our politics and our country irrevocably to the left. in other words, obama's foes, if you put aside the birthers and sundry other lunatics, always had him pegged correctly. mitch mcconnell agrees. >> one thing was pretty clear from the president's speech yesterday, the era of liberalism is back, and the unabashedly far left of center inauguration speech certainly brings back memories of the democratic party of ages past. >> the trouble is the definition of liberal includes about 60% of the country. it includes people who want something done on gun control,
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who believe the issue of abortion rights is really there for women, and they do think equality in marriage is there. so, in other words, you're passed the 50-yard line in terms of where the liberal causes are right now. you can't say that and then say far to the left when you're on the right side of the conservative side of the 50-yard line. liberalism has made its case under this president perhaps more effectively than it did in the past, so you can't say it's outside the mainstream. why are you guys keep saying it's far left, like mcconnell, when it's now the center argument? >> let me tell you this -- >> it's a good question, and i think it ought to be answered. >> i think in 2014 you will find a lot of the senators in red states in louisiana, arkansas, south dakota, who are going to try to distance themselves from what president obama said in this speech because they're worried about their elections. i think that in the center of the country and the red states where these senators are running, they don't think that the president's message works, and they're going to try to move themselves away from that because they're worried about
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it. they're worried about all these -- >> we're talking about the majority of the country though. if the majority is with the president, is he too liberal? that's what i'm asking. can you call the guy too left when he's right where the middle is? how can you keep saying that? it's the only question i want to put to you. if more than 50% support equality of marriage, more than 50% support a woman's right to choose, if more than 50% are with him on guns and foreign policy, how can you call that the far left? >> let me put it this way, the fact of the matter is this is going to be politically very problematic for harry reid because for the constituency he represents in the senate, they're not going to be able to get a lot of things that the president wants done because it's too far to the left of him. for example, on gun control, that's going to be very problematic for -- >> can i get back to shrummy? does it bother you your opinions are generally acceptable or do you prefer to be a maverick? >> i've been waiting for the country to come around. i thought it would. i think barack obama has done a
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brilliant job. i would say to john he keeps talking about the problems in the red states. the red states are becoming a shrinking part of america. the one thing boehner said that is true is the republican party is annihilating itself in terms of being able to win the presidency. because they are in a demographic death spiral with women, with hispanics, with african-americans, with young people, with gays. what happened with ronald reagan, you remember this in the 1980s, he brought young people into the republican party and they stayed. this generation of young people is moving decisively to the democratic party, and if they stay, it will be a long time before we see a republican president. >> let me jump in real quick. >> wyoming, utah, colorado, i love those places. your thoughts, john. >> i think bob is right on this thing. i think the republican party needs to evolve. i think it needs to attract younger voters. it has problems with hispanic voters, african-american voters, and i think that's what they're trying to do at their rnc
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meeting. they have to message better. >> john feehery, now you're talking, showing intelligence at the end of the conversation. i'm just kidding. you're normally not this good. republican congressman paul broun says president obama is upholding the soviet union's constitution. is there one? i don't think there's a soviet union anymore. we're back on "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the already great sentra apart and completely reimagined it with best-in-class combined mpg
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age coming today where i live. which we're totally unprepared for because it's been so unseasonably warm this winter. >> back to "hardball." going after climate change may be on president obama's second term agenda, but what are the odds of congress doing something when members of the house science committee are known to say things like this. >> whether or not how dramatic this change will be or is, what it's caused by, are things that honest people i think can disagree with. we don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past, could be dinosaur flatulence or who knows. >> well, bill maher took to his realtime blog to describe the climate debate, this "planet of the apes" stuff. it's just another case of not being able to craft a solution or even begin a discussion because one side is dealing in science and facts and reality and the other is stuck in a state of uninformed ideologically-based paranoia. it's like a city council trying to debate whether or not to put up a stop sign at a certain
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intersection to keep the kids safe when some of the council members deny the existence of cars. the people maher is talking about is part of the club president obama called out in the campaign. remember what he said? >> if these guys were around when columbus set sail, they would be charter members of the flat earth society. another nod to the soviets. last week mississippi governor phil bryant said that if people don't get high capacity gun magazines, they'd look to places like brazil or the soviet union to get them. the soviet union, which hasn't existed for over 20 years now. phil bryant, meet georgia congressman paul broun who thinks evolution and the big bang theory are lies straight from the pit of hell. broun was asked by a local newspaper about his role in congress as a far right republican. his answer, i think my role is to uphold, support, and defend our constitution. i don't know what constitution that other members of congress
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uphold, but it's not this one. i think the only constitution that barack obama upholds is the soviet constitution, not this one. he has no concept of this one, though he claimed to be a constitutional lawyer. okay. call the soviet stuff a gaffe on the part of the congressman, but the president claims to be a constitutional lawyer? is broun not convinced that the president graduated from harvard law school and served as president of the harvard law review? i think president obama had some unfinished business with the al green song he started singing. for now we have to settle for the auto tune version. >> reverend al green was here. ♪ i'm so in love with you ♪ whatever you want to do ♪ i'll do it too ♪ let's stay together
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♪ loving you whether, whether ♪ times are good or bad ♪ happy or sad >> well, basically he's a really good singer. up next, the pentagon officially lifts the ban on women in combat. women are already serving in combat, as congresswoman tammy duckworth can attest. congresswoman duckworth is going to join us next. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ stay top of mind with customers? from deals that bring them in with an offer...
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hey, there, i'm veronica. here's what's happening. earlier today, joe biden participated in an online chat on gun control. during the expression, he expressed support for an unlimited round of gun magazine. caused the battering firearm on a boeing 747 dreamliner earlier this month.
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and the state overwhelmingly passed legislation opposing gay marriage. now, back to "hardball." in life, as we all know, there are no guarantees of success. not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier. but everyone is entitled to a chance. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was defense secretary leon panetta today as he overturned a 1994 ban on women serving in combat. the truth is american women have been in combat in both iraq and afghanistan, but they have been prevented from advancing to some higher ranking positions within the military. panetta said decisions going forward must not be made based upon gender but on
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qualifications. >> i fundamentally believe that our military is more effective when success is based solely on ability, on qualifications, and on performance. when i have gone to bethesda to visit wounded warriors and when i have gone to arlington to bury our dead, there is no distinction that's made between the sacrifices of men and women in uniform. they serve, they're wounded, and they die right next to each other. the time has come to recognize that reality. >> with me tonight are u.s. congresswoman tammy duckworth of illinois who lost both her legs actually when her blackhawk helicopter went down in iraq in 2004. she's also a lieutenant colonel in the illinois army national guard. and captain zoe bedell who
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served two deployments in afghanistan and is in the marine corps reserves. she bought a federal lawsuit fighting the ban on women in combat. congresswoman, i want you to tell me if you can, delineate before today what were the restrictions or limits on what a woman could do as opposed to a male serving officer or enlisted person in the united states military. >> so, chris, women were not allowed to serve in specific jobs. in the army those combat jobs were infantry, armor, artillery. there's a whole list of them. for example, a woman could not become a field artillery officer. the only combat arms branch in the army that was open to women was aviation, which is what i became. didn't mean women weren't serving in combat, and the army recognized that and awards the combat action badge to show that you were engaged in direct combat. so there's two different policies. there's a little bit of a split
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between the old system that says that women can't serve in these jobs but then also recognizing, oh, yeah, but you are engaging in combat action. >> but they weren't in the military, artillery, or armor. >> right. infantry, artillery, armor. there's a whole host of particular jobs you couldn't get into. >> captain, thank you for joining us, and thank you for your service as well. thank you to the congresswoman. tell us why you made your suit, what you think was unjust, what do you think has now been changed? >> well, i served for four years in the marine corps. i did two tours in afghanistan, and i was in charge of a group of female marines who were overseas patrolling with infantry marines every day and who saw combat, who were in firefights who were targeted by roadside bombs. i knew that what was happening over there was not in line with what the policy was saying, and that policy made it more difficult for to us accomplish our mission. it also made it harder for my marines to get recognition for
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the work they were doing. when the aclu approached me, it was an easy decision to make. >> so in effect were women actually working in these units that were apparently banned like artillery, armor, and infantry or were they not? were they limited to the aerial -- the choppers and the other aircraft? let me go back to the congresswoman. what in effect was the reality of a guy or a woman serving in the military that they would have experienced up until today, the reality. >> sure. the reality is, chris, for example, we had infantry units that would have a female medic or supply sergeant attached to them but not assigned. if you are assigned to a unit, then you belong to that unit and you're part of the unit, but they would attach a medic or supply sergeant, and they would go with the infantrymen on their door-to-door, house-to-house searches, but they needed the women there to search female civilians that they would come across. so the women were engaging in the same firefights, doing the exact same thing, but they were not seen as being combat troops. and so women are already doing these jobs, but they were not being recognized as doing it, and these units couldn't have the women there and would have
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to go and look and search for women to volunteer to be attached to them and could not train them alongside the men in infantry training because the women were not technically infantry soldiers. >> captain, when a woman joins the military today, will it be different? will she be exposed to being put into an infantry unit, a front line grunt position where she would have to take that hill -- get out there and take that hill, mcgee? will they be put in that position or do you see the law being enforced a different way, like a woman would have the option of going to the front line service? i don't know the answer. what is the answer? >> you know, i don't know the answer at this point either. i'm not sure that those details have come out, and if they are, i haven't seen them yet.
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>> what's your position having fought the suit? do you think women should be vulnerable to the same kind of assignments or it should be an option for them where it may not be an option for men to be assigned to some really terrible duty like take that hill. you got your rifle. >> i think the assignment process should work the same for men and women. that's what we've been asking for, we've been asking for equality. for officers, for example, you have to compete for the position. you don't get assigned against your choice necessarily. and we want the opportunity to compete for those positions. >> you think it's going to encourage recruitment of women into the military? the fact that it will be equal service, equal opportunity, if you will? >> i think it will encourage recruitment, and i want to make a note that for the infantry -- for the enlisted jobs when you are enlisting into the military whether you're a man or woman, you're enlisting into a specific military occupational specialty. you're choosing on your day of enlistment as a man whether you want -- >> that wasn't the way it was in the '60s. that was not the way it was in the '60s. because you could apply to be a pio, which i was thinking of doing, and i never believed that you were guaranteed that pio job. could you have just -- i wanted to write like ernie pyle, and you'd just be a grunt like everybody else. i never trusted that. i'm glad to know you can get assignment.
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thank you for your service. congresswoman, it's great to have you in congress and, captain, thank you for coming on the show and educating us here. we'd love to have you back. up next, senator dianne feinstein introduced a ban on assault weapons today. she did it again. she did it well the first time and succeeded the first time. this is "hardball," the place for politics. good insurance. yup, i've got... [ voice of dennis ] ...allstate. really? i was afraid you'd have some cut-rate policy. nope, i've got... [ voice of dennis ] the allstate value plan. it's their most affordable car insurance -- and you still get an allstate agent. i too have... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. [ normal voice ] same agent and everything. it's like we're connected. no we're not. yeah, we are. no, we're not. ♪ ask an allstate agent about the value plan. are you in good hands?
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use your maxperks card and get a 10-ream case of officemax multiuse paper for just 4.99 after maxperks rewards. find thousands of big deals now... at officemax. we're back. in the wake of the newtown shooting, the horror up there, advocates for stricter gun laws thought they might have finally momentum on their side, but getting any major legislation passed is likely to face some obviously major opposition. not just from republicans, of course. the more democrats and conservative states hear from their constituents, the harder it becomes to pass something new. nevertheless, today several democrats headed by senator dianne feinstein introduced a bill to reintroduce the ban on military-style assault weapons. >> we should be outraged by how easy it is for perpetrators of these horrific crimes to obtain powerful military-style weapons. today my colleagues and i are introducing a bill to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices that
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can accept more than ten rounds. >> well, does feinstein's bill have a chance of passing? that's a good question for our political strategists today. we will hear about them and the. four strategist today, our political strategist we're going to hear about them and the new republican efforts to change the electoral college by realloca reallocating the votes according to kojs'll district. the republicans want to do away with the winner takes all system in the states we've all gotten used to the past you hundred years and have voted with democrats the recent election. with the republicans going to monkey around with the electoral college to win? steve mcmahon is a democratic strategy exist robert costa is washington editor for the renowned "national review." steve, let's talk politics. and i hope you can do this honestly. i don't know what your current constituency is or who you have to work with but it seems to me there's a national con sense u. right, left and center at least right and center on doing
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something on background checks. people with mental, emotional problems, with criminal records should not get a gun, at least in a formal transaction, where you can stop it. i'm not sure we're ready to go for the assault weapons ban again because of the opposition by the nra and gun owners of america, whatever they're called. your thoughts. >> well, i think this is where the rubber meets the road. if you're a democrat and you're from one of those purple states where elections are very close all the time, this is a very tough vote for you. but frankly, it's why you're a democrat. i mean, there are -- there is widespread agreement on background checks. there's widespread agreement on these magazines that can hold up to 100 rounds. and the assault weapons ban is where it gets kind of tough for democrats. but i think those democrats who don't want to vote for an assault weapons ban might find a tea party on the left, a primary, somebody who's a little bit more liberal, who's a little bit more progressive and a little bit more willing to do these things. it was something that bill clinton passed in 1994, and nobody in america was outraged
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at the time. no hunters stopped hunting. and it wasn't really any threat to the second amendment. it isn't any more today than it was then. >> go ahead. robert, your thoughts. was he too optimistic for gun control? >> i was down in williamsburg, virginia for that house republican retreat. sandy hook was such a big tragedy, what are republicans going to do to respond to this legislatively? is there anything republicans can do? and they said background checks and enforcement. so though senator feinstein got a lot of press for her comments what i'm really swachg is senator patrick leahy -- >> i agree. he's the star. he's the chairman of the judiciary committee in the senate. his role? >> he has another piece of lj slaigs that's announced with senator feinstein but it's different, it's all about enforcement. this enforcement issue of making the laws tougher of helping out cops to enforce the gun laws this is something republicans behind the scenes are privately already working with democrats. >> do you think, steve -- you sound optimist uk about gun control. do you believe the united states senate, which is run by democrats now, 55 controlled, 55 seats are democrat, will they
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pass a bill which the house will have to swallow? will they do something real that they can take to conference and possibly get signed by the president? because they've got to take the lead. the house ain't going to do it. >> i think if the president takes the lead and he takes the case to the country i think the senate will pass something. pat leahy is a great example of frankly the challenge here because he's from a state where people value their guns. but once hunters understand and then most hunters do understand that this isn't a threat to their ability to hunt, this is a threat to those people who hunt other people with assault weapons and kill dozens at a time very quickly if they want to. and it will get to the house. and the house, you know, is going to have a tough vote. by the way, chris, there's one other thing in this bill. it also bans rocket launchers and grenade launchers. >> i think that's fair. >> i don't want to be the republican who votes against that bill. >> i just think they've got to get something done after newtown, for the parents and the survivors of that -- >> i agree. >> just get something done. don't talk talk talk. i think the background check thing is something we can
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actually get done this spring. i don't know how anybody can vote against that, no matter how far right. let's talk about this electoral college game. all our lives, maybe for the rest of our lives, we elect by state. there were a collection of 50 states. republicans, conservatives, especially believe in statehood as the key to the federal system we have. now republicans are coming up saying don't do it by state anymore, do it by congressional district. what's your thinking on that? is it going anywhere, robert? >> i think it is going march. look at states like maine and nebraska, they already have this congressional allocation for electoral college votes. but here's the problem. a lot of republicans are already getting a lot of heat for trying to meddle with this system. but in 2000, early 2000s when al gore won the popular vote there were people talking about rethinking the electoral college. this is not some scandal to think about the electoral college. >> your thoughts, steve. i think it's a scandal. but your thoughts. >> i think it's a scandal, too. and i think the republicans who go near it will get singed. toes republican governors who are thinking about it, everybody's going to understand that this is a way to undo the election. it's a way to take the winner of the popular vote. barack obama won by 5 million. he won the -- the democrats won the congressional vote by 1.5
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million. this is a way to overturn the election. people will understand that, and republicans will be punished. >> i believe that if a state that votes majority for one guy for president, either party, and finds out two or three days later that the majority of their electoral votes went the other way, we'll have a revolution. anyway, i don't think it's going to happen. but i understand what you guys are up to because you can't win a majority vote anymore. thank you, steve mcmahon and the objective robert costa from the great renowned "national journal." >> national review. >> when we return, the republicans' mickey mouse club. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. axiron, the only underarm treatment for low t, can restore testosterone levels back to normal in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these signs and symptoms to your doctor if they occur. tell your doctor about all medical conditions
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